What is a Wrongful Death Suit?
In a tragic situation where a person is killed due to the wrongful conduct of another individual or entity, that person’s heirs have the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This specific type of lawsuit seeks to compensate the surviving beneficiaries of the decedent for the loss of their loved one. Generally, compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit can include: lost wages from the deceased person, funeral expenses, loss of companionship for the surviving spouse, and emotional pain of the surviving family members.
Wrongful death claims encompass a wide range of deaths including: car accidents, workplace deaths, product liability, medical malpractice, defective vehicles, and dangerous roadways. Generally, the party bringing the lawsuit must prove that the other party’s negligence caused the death of their loved one. Wrongful death claims are separate from criminal matters and winning either case has no affect on the other.
Who Can Sue in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Pennsylvania Law, an action for wrongful death can be brought by the personal representative of the loved one’s estate and must be filed within 2 years of the decedent’s passing. Pennsylvania law allows for what is called a survival action which is where the personal representative, on behalf of the surviving family members (spouse, children, and parents of the decedent), brings a wrongful death claim as if the decedent had filed the personal injury claim on his own.
What does the Jury Consider in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death case the jury will consider the decedent’s: age, health, status in the family, job, income, marital status, size of immediate family, cause of death, etc.; while this is not an exhaustive list, it is important to note that in all cases the jury will look at the specific facts pertaining to the decedent’s death and how it has affected the lives of the surviving family members.
Who should I contact for more information regarding a Wrongful Death Claim?
The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this process. Please contact us with any question about your or a loved one’s wrongful death claim. We understand that the process can often be difficult for all individuals involved and that is why we will work with you every step of the way in achieving the best possible outcome.